The New Zealand melancholic-electronica creator Sharn Te Pou performs under the name Sharn.
Due for official release on the 8th of April – Born was made available a few hours ago.
The just over three and a half minute track fills the room with a dampening despondency which has an intangible beauty as the slowly revolving electronics uncurl into the room and the listener is reminded of an aural fractal as the loops thread inside one another, whilst a dark vocal delivers an isolationist commentary.
Despite the down-tempo nature of Born, or perhaps because of it, this is a track to play whilst silently holding a partner close in a slow romantic dance with the lights dimmed.
Not having featured music previously by Sharn, I took a moment to listen to the back catalogue and there is much to enjoy through the three years of songs. I am certain I will be coming back to Sharn Te Pou in the future with more news.
The Icelandic dream-synth trio Vök were initially introduced in 2014.
Vök – Waiting – artwork
Their latest single Waiting once again finds Vök smoothing out the creases of the day in their idiosyncratic style.
Waiting feeds its way into the room in a mellowing fusion of electronics, before generating a head of steam as a rounded beat treads the floorboards and the dreamy vocals breathlessly embrace the listener.
The subtle echoes gives Waiting its other-worldly sense, while the looping electro-drum-pad gives the track a gravitational pull back to earth, which enables Vök to provide the audience with a space in which they can relax and fall-back onto the outstretched arms the trio proffer through the composition.
Vök are able to utilise the electronic kit to generate sounds which don’t jar the body into activity, rather hypnotically becalm as though in a darkened floating chamber.
The English indie quintet Flashfires released their latest single on the 7th.
FlashFires do not try and complicate their music with anything extraneous. Manshark is a four and a half minutes track that brims with confidence and swagger.
Manshark is a track to enjoy either whilst nodding just head in time, or stepping around the room as the quintet provide a track that has some very smartly taken beat shifts, taking the number from off-beat to on-beat without missing a step. There is plenty of melody to keep the ears happy, whilst sufficient impetus to keep the body moving. Guitars are extended in well considered closing refrains, whilst the song opens with a drum that kicks the audience into activity. The vocal switches give the piece different tonality, which matches the progression of the music.
Manshark is a track to add to the good mood party playlist and marks the continued development of FlashFires who are deservedly gaining greater traction and appreciation.
This has been in my in-box since January – my apologies to the English angst-rock band White Ape, Sotones Records and you for the late delivery of a review of EP Pig’s Head which was released on the 4th.
Introduced back in 2014 as a Rock ‘n’ Roll outfit White Ape have gradually changed Brothel Creepers to 14 Hole DMs over the years with material of more scathing socio-democratic perspective culminating thus far in an EP which for those who follow the politics of the UK will immediately raise an arm in the air with the title ‘Pig’s Head’, or a scowl of indignation – depending on which side of the fence one brawls – for those less au-fait – bear with me and it will all become clearer.
Fucking A Dead Pig’s Head the opener to the EP has to be my pick of the release as it reflects of a story surrounding the current Prime Minister of the UK. More than that the track has a wonderful hip sway that will find you skipping around the dance-floor in joyful footstep as strung out guitar slings loops around the room.
The track which raises White Ape above previous material on Pig’s Head is One Of These Days You’re Going To Get Yourself Killed as they play around with variable tempos threading inside one another and discovers previously unearthed compositional abilities.
Next is the immediately provocative anti-State Religion stance of Barabbas with a pulverising percussion that stamps holes in the walls as the bass bustles supporting pillars and the chorus finds the guitar and vocal joining in and inviting the audience for more leverage to bring the architecture tumbling down. How could I not think you should spend more time to listen to the track than read my words.
Closing the four track EP with Believe in which White Ape bring back those footsteps of rock-a-billy which they play so well and the listener finds themselves in shoe-shuffle to a condensed percussion that thumps off the ceiling in cantankerous mood, a track that reminds me of I Just Can’t Be Happy Today by The Damned and therefore an absolute pleasure to hear.
White Ape have been able to deliver a release from which any track could be the pick of the release – to my mind this should be a quadruple A side single, then I would have had a rationale to share every track with you – I think by now you will spot – even if you are not a regular reader – I am quite fond of the music of White Ape.
The Greek indie-synth artist Σtella released the single Works For You on the 22nd.
Σtella – Photo by Peter Nikoltsos
With a more compact sound than previous material featured Works For You fairly skips out of the speakers like a spring lamb. Combinations of classical folk are jigged into coiled synths which gives the track a neo-traditional feel, with emphasis on higher registers and resulting in a number that freshens like lemon juice.
With emphasis away from the more melancholic deeper tones Works For You presents Σtella in a different light and whilst more commercially accessible, does not suffer from sugar-coating. Inevitably, I miss the more substantial sounds, but even given that, this is a song that I am more than happy to come back to more than once and add to the ‘evening with friends’ playlist.